Voters in the Harrison School District will have two candidates to choose from for the single open spot on the school board.
Ann Hokanson of Norris and Robert Rogers of Harrison will by vying for Linda Dyk’s spot on the school board. Dyk is not seeking re-election.
Hokanson works at A.M. Welles in Norris and is a mother of three. Her previous experience as an elected official was serving on the Madison County Local Government Review Committee.
And though she’s never run for a school board position, she’s been active in the school and has regularly attended school board meetings. She also serves as vice president of the Harrison Booster Club, Missoula Children’s Theater coordinator in Harrison and Girl Scout leader.
“I’m interested and invested in our school,” Hokanson said. “I believe the school is the heartbeat of our small communities over here.”
Rogers is a stone mason in Harrison, graduated from Sheridan High School and father of four. In addition to running for the school board, he serves on the Harrison Sewer District board. He and his family also attend Harrison Community Church.
Like Hokanson, Rogers sees the school as the center of the community and as budget struggles continue to come down the line, community support is going to be vital.
“The communities support the schools and we’re going to have to dig a little deeper, especially with budget cuts coming up, to support our schools a little more,” he said.
Harrison, like other school districts around the county, is faced with a potential general fund budget deficit, as the state legislature looks at cutting back state spending in several areas.
Dealing with the budget will be crucial for the school board and something both Hokanson and Rogers are anxious to be a part of.
“I have a pretty good understanding of the budgeting process,” Hokanson said.
The budget crunch is the biggest issue facing the school now, she said.
“The never-ending budget crunch, which effects it all around from supplies to hiring teachers,” Hokanson said.
Rogers wants to be a part of those budgeting decisions and help the school communicate with the community and involve citizens in the process. Out reach to the community is an important part of what it means to be on the school board, he said.
Both Hokanson and Rogers say they are good listeners and have been encouraged to run for the position by people in the community.